Press Release

August 24, 2006




Rock Island and Union counties - newest counties reporting West Nile virus positive mosquito samples

SPRINGFIELD – Ten new human cases of West Nile virus have been reported to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) bringing the total this year to 25. New cases include:

  • Chicago man in his 40’s diagnosed with West Nile virus fever
  • Two Chicago women in their 60’s with neuroinvasive disease
  • Chicago man in his 80’s with neuroinvasive disease
  • Cook County man in his 60’s with West Nile virus fever
  • Two Cook County women in their 40’s with neuroinvasive disease
  • Cook County man in his 70’s with neuroinvasive disease
  • DuPage County man in his 40’s with neuroinvasive disease
  • Rock Island County woman in her 20’s with neuroinvasive disease

The state’s first human West Nile virus death this year occurred yesterday, August 23.

“This is the riskiest time of year for West Nile virus. Mosquitoes that carry the virus peak around late summer so everybody needs to be vigilant against mosquito bites – the season is not over,” said Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director.

West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Most people with the virus have no clinical symptoms of illness, but some may become ill three to 14 days after the bite of an infected mosquito.

Only about two persons out of 10 who are bitten by an infected mosquito will experience any illness. Illness from West Nile disease is usually mild and includes fever, headache and body aches, but serious illness, such as encephalitis and meningitis, and death are possible. Persons older than 50 years of age have the highest risk of severe disease.

The Southern Seven Health Department collected Union County’s first West Nile virus mosquito sample in Cobden on August 21. The Rock Island County Health department reported a positive mosquito sample collected on August 4 in Moline and another collected on August 18 in the city of Rock Island.

To date, 60 counties out of 102 have reported positive test results for West Nile virus in mosquitoes and birds. A list of those counties can be found on the IDPH website.

Individuals can reduce their risk of West Nile illness and other mosquito-borne diseases by taking these precautions:

  • Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn.

  • When outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and apply insect repellent that includes DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus according to label instructions. Consult a physician before using repellents on infants.

  • Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or other openings. Try to keep doors and windows shut, especially at night.

  • Eliminate all sources of standing water that can support mosquito breeding, including water in bird baths, ponds, flowerpots, wading pools, old tires and any other receptacles. In communities where there are organized mosquito control programs, contact your municipal government to report areas of stagnant water in roadside ditches, flooded yards and similar locations that may produce mosquitoes.

Additional information about West Nile virus can be found on the Department’s Web site at or people can call the West Nile Virus Hotline at 866-369-9710 Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

idph online home
idph online home

Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Phone 217-782-4977
Fax 217-782-3987
TTY 800-547-0466
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